OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

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The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License (MS-PL) to the OSI [Open Source Initiative] for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted, "Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."

Rosenberg compared the MS-PL to the new BSD license and the Apache 2.0 license. "However, the new BSD license does not contain an explicit patent grant," he wrote. "In addition, we sought to create a license that is simple, short, and easy to understand."

Code licensed under the MS-PL cannot be redistributed under the terms of any other license, but it can be combined with works released under the terms of other licenses, as long as those other licenses permit it.

Chuck Swiger, an active member of the license-discuss community, thinks that lets the GPL out of the mix. Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in:

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